Movie Review: The Suffering

the-sufferingAn estate appraiser heads out to the country to spend a few days at an old farm with the caretaker and his help to…well, appraise.  It’s clear from the first day that there are secrets buried within the history of the property and slowly things surface that make the appraiser’s job a difficult and disturbing one.

I loved the idea of the innocent protagonist being an appraiser, as it gave a great reason for his snooping about in areas that otherwise would be too spooky to go.  So rather than the audience growing frustrated at the idiot who insists on nosing about in those dark nooks and crannies that no one has any business going into, we are given a rationale behind it.

Aesthetically the film was pleasing, as was most of the acting, but three fourths into it things started heading downhill.  I don’t think I quite rolled my eyes but I certainly could have.  The acting turned south when a new character came out of nowhere who probably could have been left out altogether, followed by some very random scares that left me thinking there was no way the film could be redeemed at this point.  It seemed that things were starting to happen for no apparent reason other than cheap scares, and questions rose that I didn’t think would ever get answered.  It began to feel like a different writer/director took over, with the genesis of a good idea that ran on nothing but the fumes of jump scares (though some of which were genuinely creepy) and a protagonist who’s only real “suffering” was receiving a hearty blow to the head every twenty minutes–concussions on the regular.

But then the end came and it did indeed manage to pull itself together and answer almost every question I had.  Overall the film was well made, some legitimately creepy scenes and perfect for that modern crowd who will get a kick out of jump scares.  Just remember to wait it out.  There’s a zinger of a twist hiding there that ultimately redeems most of anything you may consider inadequate.

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